Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

I Get Older, They Stay The Same Age

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I was at Truck at the weekend where I managed to see three bands. Okay, I saw more than that but only three on purpose and with any real attention.

The mainstage headliners Ash and Supergrass made an interesting compare and contrast exercise. Ash broke through in 1995, the year they left school and the year before they released their debut album, 1977. The debut Supergrass album, I Should Coco, was released the same year and similarly school was the genesis of the band. Both started as trios and the limitations of this setup as well as their youth and enthusiasm was a great deal of their charm. The difference is Supergrass have grown up.

When Ash took to the stage on Saturday night they still looked like overgrown teenagers. This is much less charming when you are on the wrong side of thirty and although the enthusiasm was there, this amounted to just bashing the songs out. It was a fun set, helped by both a great deal of nostalgia and the extra buzz a festival crowd always imparts, but the banality of many of their songs is inescapable and there was little sign of any evolution. New songs did show a slightly more interesting direction but as a whole the set suggested a band that reached their pinnacle with their opening salvo. Supergrass, on the other hand, bounded on stage with a youthful cockiness – fags in mouths, cheeky smiles, a welcoming shout of “oi, oi!” – that was augmented with a more mature confidence. The musicianship on display was far superior and they looked relaxed and happy both in themselves and as a band. An absolute pleasure to watch.

The third band were Detachments, three sexy boys with great style (visually and sonically) playing music that is both on trend and actually good but who somehow still added up to less than sum of their parts. Apart from that I deployed my summer wardrobe, guzzled cider, smoked too many rollies, poured beer over my phone and lost several wrestling matches to a three year old. The usual. I also heard some good breaks and some rubbish drum and bass which is clearly the wrong way round. Sort it out.

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Written by Martin

28 July 2009 at 10:12

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